Visit the Refugees in Towns website.

The Refugees in Towns project (RIT) supports towns and urban neighborhoods in becoming immigrant- and refugee-friendly spaces that take full advantage of the benefits brought by refugees while finding ways to manage the inevitable challenges of immigrant integration.

We focus on achieving two outcomes:

  1. Increased understanding of refugee integration through refined theory. This includes making contributions to narratives of how urban communities—including refugees and hosts—may co-exist, adapt, and struggle with integration. RIT commissions locally-researched case studies in towns and urban neighborhoods of refugee destination and resettlement countries (e.g. the United States); transit countries (e.g. Greece), and countries of first asylum (e.g. Turkey).
  2. Support of community leaders, aid organizations, and local governments in shaping policy, practice, and social interventions. RIT engages policymakers and community leaders through town visits, workshops, conferences, and participatory research that identifies needs in their communities, encourages dialogue on integration, and shares good practices and lessons learned.

Join the Project

Ideas for new case studies are welcome.

RIT is looking for local researchers including refugees, aid workers, academics, and community members to contribute commissioned case studies of their experiences. Researchers should have a personal history, social presence, and contextual knowledge of a town or urban neighborhood that hosts forced migrants. If you are interested in contributing a case or know someone who may be, visit our website for more information and to contact Program Administrator Charles Simpson to discuss your ideas further.

Belgrade, Serbia: A Case Study of Refugees in Towns

The Belgrade case study report explores the intersection of de facto integration of migrants in the city, the broader European migrant crisis, and political movements in Serbia.

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Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania: A Case Study of Refugees in Towns

The Dar es Salaam case study report looks at the largest city in Tanzania that is host to urban refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, and other countries in the region.

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Delhi, India: A Case Study of Refugees in Towns
By Protiti Roy | April 2018

The Delhi case study report considers food as an element of social and economic integration.

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Hamburg, Germany: A Case Study of Refugees in Towns
By Jessica Sadye Wolff | April 2018

The Hamburg case study report focuses on the domain of housing in integration.

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Sultanbeyli, Istanbul: A Case Study of Refugees in Towns
By Zeynep Balcioglu | April 2018

The Sultanbeyli, Istanbul case study report focuses on social integration of Syrian refugees.

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Cities of Refuge
By World Bank, Karen Jacobsen | October 2017

This policy note focuses on urban forced displacement from the perspective of receiving towns and cities.

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“Refugees in towns: experiences of integration” in Forced Migration Review (FMR 56, October 2017)

by Karen Jacobsen

In countries of first asylum, transit and destination it is increasingly towns and cities that are absorbing refugees. We must look at what is happening at a local level to better understand urban integration as a process shared by refugees and host communities alike.

Read the article here.

Find the full table of contents of this issue of FMR here.